Checklists and rehearsals can help ED physicians develop quick, confident responses in a critical situation
Become a master of logistics. At the beginning of your shift, check that all of your crucial equipment is stocked and working.
- Master resuscitationists trust their gut. Your gut or intuition is really the subconscious result of preparation. Studying and rehearsing critical scenarios in your head result in the right answer just coming to you in the moment. This is described in the cognitive psychology literature as System 1 processing—you must hone yours to a scalpel’s edge.
- Resuscitationists use checklists. Using a checklist provides cognitive offloading. The mental energy that would be spent trying to remember every step of a complicated procedure, such as intubation, can be focused on solving novel problems and evaluating the big picture.
- Resuscitationists prepare for the worst scenario. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
- There are only two reasons to call a consult: a consultant has a bed you want or can do a procedure you cannot.
- For all critical procedures, remember: slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. With your adrenaline surging, moving fast equals moving sloppy. Focusing on moving slowly and smoothly will result in precise, efficient execution of procedural tasks.